tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 14, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
lamppost. and now i am in the new york city marathon. >> i can do everything in my life. >> we change the way people perceive themselves. you see them below, there is nothing in the world that i have more fun doing. we end the week with rage across the arab world. the muslim day of prayer turned into another night of rage. we begin, though, tonight not with the turmoil but a quiet reminder of the human cost. today at fort andrews, the remains of the four americans killed in libya came home. seven marines carrying each casket from an air force c-17
transport bringing them to an hangar filled not just with leaders, not just commanders and dignitaries but comrades, colleagues, family and friends. the killing of ambassador christopher stevens, sean smith and former navy seals glen doherty and tyrone woods has become part of a political battle back home. there was not even a hadn't of that here of course. among those in attendance, colin powell, secretary of state during the last administration, current secretary of states for the president, secretary of state hillary clinton saying the four lives lost were lived in service to their country and are in her words at the heart of what makes america great and good. president obama vowed to give -- bring their killers to justice. >> the united states of america will never retreat to the world, we will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed, whatever their faith.
that's the essence of american leadership. that's the spirit that sets us apart from other nations. this was their work in benghazi and this is the work we will carry on. >> president obama today talking of the mission that so many americans do and what four american died doing. we put them front and center tonight. ambassador christopher stevens, sean smith, glen doherty and tyrone woods. joining me on the phone is ambassador stevens' stepfather. i am so sorry for your loss and please extend our condolences to your entire family. what do you want people to know about your stepson? >> well, i think what you learn today, it tells me what his legacy was at the anderson air force base when the caskets were brought back, 800 members of the state department were there and the president for the first time
he spoke at one of these ceremonial dignified transfers and secretary clinton spoke and they all expressed the understanding that chris's commitment to libya and to the country has left a legacy that will live after him. so this is what i'd like people to know, that he was beloved by his colleagues in the state department androm the people of libya. the libya ambassador came and spoke to us, came and spoke to us, and so did barack obama, was very kind. and all of this was representing the feeling of the government toward this wonderful son of ours. and i think it speaks for itself. >> he probably could have had a
cushy posting, he probably could have had at this point in his career a much safer posting, yet he seemed like the kind of ambassador who really wanted to be out there with people, out there on the streets with his sleeves rolled up. >> yes, he -- but he loved libya, as unbeautiful as it is. and the ambassador expressed his deep affection for chris and the messages we've gotten from libya and the sign from the streets of counterprotests proclaiming chris stevens with libya. and that to me says it all. >> there's been such obviously an outpouring of thoughts and prayers for your family and reflections upon him. i talked to senator mccain about your stepson earlier. we heard obviously from secretary clinton and obviously comments from president obama.
there's also been an outpouring among people on the streets of libya. there have been demonstrations in support of the united states and apologizing. when you saw those pictures, how does that make you feel? >> well, it heartens me that it confirms how affectionate the people were and grateful that they worked so hard for their liberation and that to me is what he represented. >> i can't imagine what this day has been like for you. i appreciate you taking the time to talk to us and let us know a little bit more about your stepson. thank you. >> our hearts are filled with gratitude and grief. thank you, sir. >> thank you. sadly there's more turmoil today and more american lives in jeopardy. friday, the muslim day of prayer was anything but tranquil. violence erupting for a fourth stray day in egypt, yemen, gaza. and in tunisia. some managed to get into the
complex, carrying american flags. the staff are reported to be safe. in libya, four suspects are now in custody in connection with tuesday's killings. for the latest on the chaos, the investigation and any possible warning signs of trouble before the attacks, we taurn to arwa damon, who has new and disturbing information that may help explain the deadly outcome. and also ben wedeman in cairo and in washington fran townsend, she's a member of the cia external advisory committee. last month fran visited libya with his employer. let's start with you, arwa. you went to the scene at the u.s. consulate. you're also getting reports
about a possible leak of information to the terrorists, the militants that carried out this attack. what have you learned? >> reporter: we are hearing details about a second attack that took place at a different location. this is coming from the spokesman of one of the battalions here that is part of the february 17th brigade. this is a brigade, according to this spokesman, that actually helped evacuate personnel from the location of the consulate to what was supposed to have been a safe house but a few hours after all of this took place, in the early hours of the morning, a unit of security personnel arrived at the benghazi airport from tripoli, these were americans tasked with evacuating. we are being told those who were hiding out at the safe house. as the convoy was approaching the safe house, they came under yet another intense but very short lived attack and this is where many questions are bng asked as to was somehow -- was there some sort of infiltration
that took place? how did the attackers know to attack at the second location? when the individuals arrived at this apparent safe house, they are being told they found a round of 30 plus personnel that needed to be evacuated along with three of the four bodies, the body of the ambassador was of course later found at this hospital, but a lot of questions as we're trying to piece together how it is that this happened but also how is it going to be prevented in the future. >> arwa, one of the questions i have, it sounds like this was a fight or an attack that went on for some time. where were local libyan security forces, either government forces. we keep hearing about so many militias around and if there's good feeling toward the u.s., why weren't other militias responding to an attack on the u.s. consulate? do we know any of those answers >> reporter: we know some of them.
others we're still trying to dig for. we have heard the deputy minister of interior, responsible for the eastern portion of the country, actually called his specific forces away from the location of the consulate as the attack was taking place because they quite simply were unable to put up a fight. we are also being told that it is elements from the 17th of february brigade that did in fact tried to help defend the location of the consulate. they were the one who is helped evacuate the personnel from that location. there are a lot of questions for the libyan government because there are a number of armed militias around, a number of militias who do support the united states, along with those who do not. these extremist militias are very intense on sabotaging its nation and its movement down the direction that the revolution intended it to be set on. >> there have been appropriation tests in cairo throughout
different parts of egypt. what is the latest? what are you hearing? what are you seeing? >> right now the protestors seem to have retaken this street right next no the american embassy. the area is really thick with tear gas. earlier in the day security forces set up a concrete barrier right about a hundred yards from the american embassy, which stopped the protestors from getting much closer, but that hasn't really stopped the clashes which have been going on all day long here. the security forces keeping the protestors away from the embassy but not really able to push the protestors far away. every time they push forward, the protestors push back and it's really been like that all day long. >> and, ben, are these kind of the young men you were talking about last night who, you know, were kind of off in that protest? who is it now that's protesting?
>> same young men -- most of these young men don't appear to be members of any of the main political parties, like the muslim brotherhood or other parties. many of them are i think what are called ultras, which are basically football hooligans who really get off on this and are high on adrenaline in these clashes with the police. when you speak to them, they will say the reason they're protesting is they want to see the american ambassador, the israeli ambassador expelled from the country. they want to see an end to relations between the united states and egypt as a result of this youtube video that of course is at the center of this controversy, but they don't seem to have much in the way of any political ideas other than those very sort of crude anti-american sentiment. >> they've retaken that street, ben. i'm going to let you go so can
you get off that balcony and let you get back inside. fran, there have been questions about intelligence that could have prevented this attack. you've been working your security forces. what you have been able to find out? >> reporter: american intelligence officials will say to you until very recently the focus of the libyan government and libyan security forces have been anti-gadhafi loyalists. right after the immediate aftermath of the tragedy on september 11th and the killing of ambassador stevens, we did hear there was concern about pro-gadhafi loyalists. now they said around the end of august, and when i was there, anderson, on a business trip, everyone i spoke, to libyan and american officials all talked about their growing concern about extremists in darna, a city to the east of benghazi where they believe extremists were gaining strength and they were heavily armed. unfortunately it turns out that that was a valid concern. i never have gotten the sense
that they had any idea that there was such an immediate and specific threat against the consulate. in fact, they suggested my going to visit that consulate. >> despite protests through the middle east today, you say officials may be breathing a sigh of relief. why? >> reporter: what we're seeing now in tunisia, i think they were preparing for the worst, the protests would take on that very violent, extreme threat to the embassies and posts. there was a as soon as of relief they were glad they were prepared but they didn't see that widespread violence that we're now seeing more in egypt. >> fran, please be careful, arwa and ben wedeman as well. >> when we come back, it was said scenes like this wouldn't be happening in mitt romney was president.
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as we've mentioned, the american embassies and other symbols of america under attack tonight. there's also a presidential campaign going on and a bold statement from the romney cam pan, if mitt romney were president, this simply were not be happening. romney's senior policy aide richard williamson telling "the washington post" "there's a pretty compelling story that if you had a president romney, you'd be in a different situation." his word laying the killing of chris stevens at the feet of obama policy. he said "respect for america has gone down. there's not a sense of american resolve that we can't even protect sovereign property.
violence has struck both democratic and republican administrations against embassies and warships, american hotels abroad and of course on 9/11. because mr. williamson is making some pretty bold claims we invited him to the program to provide backup and proof. the romney campaign said he would be on the program and then we were told he would not be available. the romney campaign isn't the own one that's raising eyebrows hp his running mate paul ryan today. >> what do we sao? the slaughter of brave forces in america, iran four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon, israel, our best ally in the region treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the
obama administration. >> the last contention has been getting a lot of attention on the stump. >> president obama needs to cancel his interview with david letterman, cancel his meeting with beyonce, cancel his meeting with jay-z and instead agree to meet with the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu. >> our allies in israel feel they can't rely on us. you saw the flair-up between the prime minister of israel and the president. >> the latest showdown between the president and the prime minister of israel. >> i can't ever imagine if the prime minister of israel ever asked to be with me, i can't imagine saying no. >> the narrative is clear, president obama supposedly refusing benjamin netanyahu's request to meet with him about the nuclear situation in iran.
now, that charge was attributed in a report by the reuters wire service to an israeli official who declined to be identified. the national security council spokesman not on denied such a request was made, he said that the two leaders wouldn't even be in new york on the same day but that the president and prime minister are in frequent contact. the white house said emphatically this week that netanyahu never requested a meeting with the president in washington. so the story and the narrative are not proven but as is often the case these days, the whole thing has taken on a life of its own and is getting big play. this is part and parcel of a campaign this includes as you'll remember governor romney attacking president obama tuesday night and the following morning saying the administration's first response of ambassador stevens' killing was to sympathize with the attackers. the message was put out by the u.s. embassy in egypt was not in any way seen or approved by the
white house, according to all reports, and went out trying to diffuse tension hours before the first attack took place. joining for all the raw politics, paul begala. do you believe president obama somehow failed in libya and the attacks and protests in cairo could have been prevented? >> no, not at all. i went back and read the cairo speech from 2009. and when we got into the arab spring, it was not a republican, it was a democrat, an unidentified adviser to the president who called it leading from behind. what i said in the column was that the president's foreign policy and the president's domestic policies approximately are the same, blame george w.
and i think that's true. >> rich, as you heard ambassador williamson said, he said if governor romney had been president, we'd be in a situation. >> you can't rewind thclock, you don't know that's the case. i've been with rich williamson overseas. he is not neocon. i this i he was attempting to say that in the arab world, especially in the people that are leading these charges, any sign of weakness is -- they see as a power vacuum and they are more than happy to rush into it, whether or not a romney administration would have stopped this, who knows but i think that's what he was trying to say. >> republicans have said president obama have long showed weak leadership abroad, a number of them are saying he invited the attacks. intelligence officials did send a general warning about the anti-muslim movement at the embassy. what do you make of the republican criticism and should u.s. officials have done more to
anticipate it and prepare? >> let me start with me. we always want to do more. we have to do more to protect the embassies and the great who serve there. i would certainly never say that our government did everything we can do to protect our own in harm's way. that may be a valid criticism. i haven't heard yet any fact-based criticism that we didn't do enough. but that's different from the more generalized attack they're making. it's wrong in the facts and wrong in the politics. the republican didn't nominate mitt romney because of his foreign policy expertise. they could have nominated jon huntsman or gone back to john mccain. there's a lot of very strong republicans on foreign policy. they hired mitt romney to run for president on the economy. and every day he's off and attacking and looking political and partisan about national security is a bad day for mitt
romney. i do note in our latest cnn opinion poll president obama has jumped out to a 12-point lead on who do you prefer on foreign policy. and that was before the latest inflammations, uprisings in the middle east so that may change things but this is not the turf that governor romney should be running on. i hate to give him free advice but it is the economy, governor. >> the disagreement on whether president obama refused a meeting with prime minister netanyahu, it has taken on a life of its own. you have a national security spokesman saying no meeting was requested so no meeting was denied, they're not going to be at the u.n. at the same time, do you buy that? >> it took a couple of days for them to come around to finally somebody that was supposed to know being able to say no meeting was ever suggested. but, look, these two guys don't like each other very much. it goes back to the vice president's visit to israel way back in the beginning of the administration when he was unhappily surprised by the announcement when he was there, this is vice president biden
that the israelis were expanding their settlement. that was countered by when netanyahu was here, sort of being forced to sit in the assistant principal's office at the white house for a couple of hours to stew while the president went off and did other things. before we get off this, i want to say that i watched the president at joint base andrews this afternoon, he was the president, he was our president and he was my president and i thought he did a wonderful job. >> rich, do you buy, though, this argument that paul ryan is making that obama has snubbed israel, that he's basically -- it sounds as if, if you listen to paul ryan, that the u.s. has been treating israel terribly under the obama administration. >> i think the israelis are -- first of all, their antenna are way up because of iran and they're very, very fearful of iran getting a bomb. they won't let that happen. i think we can agree on that. number two, i also think from my friends in israel that they sense that president obama sort of in an effort to be part of
the european club where israel is held, as churchill used to say, limited high regard, that he wants to so that he is much more even handed when it comes to the middle east and as far as israel is concerned, they don't need no even handed, they need allies. >> paul, what about this? there have been a number of dust-ups with the conservative leadership in israel. when you hear paul ryan's description of how obama has treated israel, what do you think? >> congressman ryan has succeeded in destroying his reputation as a truth teller. i never thought it was deserved but all the best people would stroke their chins and say paul ryan is a truth teller. today he launches this really comic, faux harry chested -- if there was a chest hair toupee, that's what he would be wearing. nonsense. ehud barak, the highly, most decorated soldier in the history of defense forces, he says this
administration under president obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that i can remember in the past ehud barak served as prime minister. he said this president has done more than anyone else in defense of the state of israel. with all defense to brigadier general ryan and his five minute marathon claims, this is another whopper from paul ryan. >> i appreciate it. all this week we've en talking about voters' top five economic concerns and how the president and mitt romney plan to address them. up next, the number one economic concern keeping people up at night. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble
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we've been counting down to the top five economic issues that keep voters up at night. we poll registered voters to find out their biggest economic worries. housing costs were number five, taxes four, medicare/social security concerns were number three, last night we talked about number two, the federal deficit and the top concern, unemployment. with an 8.1% unemployment rate, 12.5 million people are out of work. it's the number one economic issue keeping people up at night. we talked with the president of a group in connect who sees on a daily basis the toll of people out of work takes. >> what keeps me up at night is the thought that americans who are victims of the great recession wi lose their job, will lose any opportunity to come back to the workforce and
will be deprived of hope and opportunity in their lives. it's taken its toll on every sector of our economy and our employment structure. this has been a mean creature. it's not just taken folks out of those sectors and made them unemployable, it has put roadblocks into their finding any way to their returning to that sector or to another. what my program has pride to do is open doors that simply give them a chance. it doesn't guarantee them anything, but it says if you come to the job and you can convince that employer give me a chance, can i do it as well as anybody else, we're finding an incredibly high rates of success. >> you are the folks who are the next cohort or platform to employment. >> i've been unemployed for about two and a half years. >> how many jobs would you say that you applied for? >> i lost count, just so many. just apply, apply, apply. over the years i've gotten just a couple of interviews.
>> how long you have been out? >> i've been out now almost three years. >> so there's no collecting unemployment benefits at this point? >> no, that's over. >> this is a chance to get a new approach. i don't know where to go from here. >> in this economy, we can't get you a job unless you can help to make that happen. you got to work harder than you ever imagined. failure is not an option. all they hear about is a world turning against them. if you deal with the self-confidence issue and simultaneously deal with the emotional issues, the end result incredibly is a high rate of success of bringing people to employment so that the employer eventually makes the hire. they are not folks that prefer to be unemployed. they're not lazy. they are people who truly are the victims of this extraordinary economic chang. >> joining me now, chief national correspondent john king. no president since the second world war has been reelected with unemployment this high.
the obama campaign says what matters is the direction the unemployment rate is falling. how much trouble is the president facing right now? >> you mentioned in history, no president since franklin roosevelt elected with an unemployment rate so high. the rate did not drop because afro bust economy. the rate dropped because nearly 400,000 people gave up. they left the job market. on 96,000 jobs created last month. that's an anemic number as you head closer and closer to the election. the president is trying to make the case, especially in the heartland case in the midwest that made in america is coming back, 15,000 manufacturing jobs lost just last month, nearly 600,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the obama presidency. the rate actually is pretty static from when he took office to where we are today but the president can make the case he
inherited a recession and a ditch. it did go over 10% at one point. it's better now than at the high point of the obama presidency. those are national numbers. we elect presidents state by saturday. in some of the key battleground states, the news is better. in others, worse. in colorado, the rate is up quite a bit since president obama took office, same in nevada, up at 12%, the highest state in the country. importantly it is down in iowa, down in ohio, the key midwestern battleground states. you take a look here. if your state is green, that's good news. you see, unemployment's going down in ohio, down in iowa, down a bit in virginia, all key battlegrounds. if your state is yellow, that's bad news. north carolina sort of bleak on that front, colorado. so if you look at the map this way, some states the president can make the case things are better.
in others, it's a tougher sell. >> we've seen the problem obama has had in some states to highlight how bad things are going and in some states the republicans are saying how well things are doing. how does the romney campaign deal with that? >> it is a problem with the romney campaign. some of the republican governors like john kasich touting their state economies at the convention. romney says it's because of the republican governors that the numbers are doing well. they keep saying 23 million people are out of work are struggling to find employment. they say those are the numbers that matter. just the other day, anderson, the fed decided to pass another round of quantitative easing and the romney campaign pointed to
that and said this is because the obama economy is not doing well. >> dan, if the president were to win reelection, it would be historic -- it would be the first really. the economy is still struggling, the fed has made a move but it's unlikely to make much of a difference before election day. this is an uphill fight for the obama campaign historically, isn't it? >> it really is an uphill fight. the argument they're making it is things would be much better if the republicans weren't standing in the way and you hear this from thpresident and top aides. they point to the fact that the president submitted his jobs bill, yet it sits there in congress, they haven't moved on it yet. he said if they passed this jobs bill, a million more jobs would be creating. they keep going back to e trend line. they say the economy is adding jobs so they're not subtracting at all. the jobs are not being added the way that some of the economists had expected that there would be bigger numbers, but they point to the fact that jobs are being added, not subtracted and that's the message they're telling the
voters out there. >> we'll see who voters believe. susan hendricks joins us. >> there's nond to the ongoing violence in syria. security forces killed at least 100 people across the country today. many of those deaths occurred in key cities of damascus and oleso. >> and neil armstrong, the first person to ever walk the moon, was buried to the at sea following a ceremony aboard the "uss philippine sea o ". he was a hero to many americans. >> a shocking case from louisville, kentucky. 16-year-old girl sexually assaulted by two boys who also took explicit pictures of her and showed them around. the deal the boys got offered?
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in crime and punishment tonight, a teen-age girl was in court in louisville, kentucky today. she addressed the two boys who assaulted her and the justice system that failed her. the two boys who assaulted her were offered community service. at the center, a victim who refuses to stay silent. >> reporter: it happened inside this hope in louisville, kentucky. savannah detrick was 16 at the time.
she had been drinking heavily with a group of friends and passed out. >> i woke up and my bra was missing. >> when i was passed out, they took off my clothes and my bra and they took pictures and then they took off my underwear and took pictures of them penetrating me with their fingers. >> reporter: the pictures would prove to be damning. the 16-year-old boys went to court accused of felony sexual assault. the attorneys of within of the boys argued the records must stay secret but the judge disagreed and released these transcripts. boy number one saying "we put our fingers in her because we thought it would be funny." he also said i guess she just
went to sleep so we carried her upstairs and accidentally dropped her. boy number two was asked if he, too, sexually assaulted the girl. he said yes and she was fine with it. she was fine? how do you know she was fine, said the detective? >> i mean, she could have definitely been like stop, don't do this but she didn't. and a stunning turn of events, the prosecutor offered the boys a plea bargain. the proposed sentence, just 50 hours of volunteer work and if they complete a diverse program, the charges will be wiped clean from their record when is their 19 1/2. that's the proposal for the sexual assault of an unconscious girl. thomas clay is savannah's personal attorney. >> it's highly unprecedented you will have sexual conviction of this type expunged from your record.
>> reporter: the prosecutor in this case told her this -- >> jail time is just really not possible at all. it's like out of the question. jail is for like real rapists and murderers and robbers. >> he said real rapists? >> yeah. >> reporter: the prosecutor said even more to her. >> he filed an affidavit in which he launched a virulent attack on savannah dietrich's character and credibility. he accused her of being a liar, accused her of being delusional. >> reporter: he's the prosecutor who is supposed to be prosecuting the criminals, not the victim. >> we have things upside down. >> reporter: we received a copy of the affidavit and indeed the prosecutor slammed the victim. perhaps, he says, she is not so much trying to intentionally mislead and deceive this court but are the byproduct of what she would like to have happened.
he denied making the real rapist comment. savannah was outraged and decided to go on twitter and gave their names. >> reporter: she faced the possibility of six months behind bars. a juvenile public defender was called to represent her on the charge. >> i certainly believe the victim has the right to say the names of their attackers and there is nothing in our law anywhere that prevents them from doing so. >> reporter: the boys' attorneys decided they do not want to go forward with a contempt charge. the lawyers did not want to make any on-camera comment to us but one of them said on the phone the boy's life has been ruined and he's received death threat. there's no twist to the story.
the two boys who pleaded guilty both went to trinity. it has thousands of loyal and devoted alum night. one of them is the prosecutor. he's also a prominent donor to the school. you're thinking his connection to the high school might have had something to do with this decision to make this plea bargain so lenient? >> there's certainly circumstantial evidence that indicates his trinity connection was a factor in the lenient treatment with these two young men. >> reporter: his boss had this to say. >> we could talk about every criminal procedure in kentucky and could find the same argument somewhere down the road. >> the judge is now deciding whether to accept the plea bargain. >> they had to wait until my eyes were closed and do this to me.
now they have to look in my eyes and see the full extent of what they've done, the damage they've caused. >> gary tuchman joins me from louisville where savannah dietrich was in court today. the sentencing hearing just ended? >> what happened? >> six-hour hearing and the judge made the decision that the plea bargain was not appropriate and made a decision to modify it. the two boys will not get their records clean. the felony assault will become a misdemeanor if they behave well and when they're 25 they can apply to get it expunged. and one this evening that savannah wanted, she wanted the names of all the people who saw her picture. the judge ruled that has to be done, she has to receive the names of everyone who looked at her picture on the cell phone. savannah's eyes did meet the
boy's eyes. she made a statement in court, she looked right at the boys and said you've ruined my life and she addressed the prosecutor. she said "you revictimized me" and she attacked the prosecutor. the prosecutor sat there quietly. we talked to his boss later and asked about that statement and he said i don't comment about personnel matters. either way these boys' plea bargain has been changed. >> did the juveniles aapologize to her? >> reporter: here was another unusual part of the court day. there were two lawyers, one for each boy. they read apologies on behalf of the boys. if the boys read their own apologies, savannah said it would have meant something to her. it's a fact that if the boys read a heart-felt apology, it could have changed the judge's mind, too. but they didn't. their lawyers read the apologies. >> there is word tonight a tentative deal has been reached in the chicago teachers strike. could students be back in the classroom on monday?
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